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CONLANG  March 2006, Week 4

CONLANG March 2006, Week 4

Subject:

Re: "to be" and not to be in the world's languages

From:

Rob Haden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:49:47 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (16 lines)

On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 21:03:27 +0100, taliesin the storyteller
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Basically: languages which inflect the verb itself for present and
>preterite/past, will also have a verb for "to be". Examples include most
>IE-languages. Languages which use some other way to show time, don't
>have a verb for "to be". Examples include Chinese. The reason why "to
>be" is needed is because you can't add a particle/word meaning "not"
>directly to a noun used as a predicate, you need a buffer-word of some
>sort, hence "to be".

Slavic languages typically don't have "to be" in the present tense.  Is this
because they mark verbs primarily for aspect instead of tense?

- Rob

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